One of the keys to a successful site is the text you place on it. Personally, I am a stickler for spelling and grammar. One thing that I liked about this article is that it points out that what you say is just half of it - it’s also how you say it. The way you arrange the text on your site can be the difference between a success and a failure. Here’s a snippet:
Be direct. If you sell software, call it software and describe exactly what it does. Fluff like “The enterprise management solution leading in value, implementation and functionality” tells the reader nothing. (BTW, I pulled that from a real site.)So true, it hurts. For all seven tips on writing web copy, check out GreenEye Wire.
A few days ago we posted our first of what we hope to be many podcasts, where we spoke with Box.net founder Aaron Levie. Now, with the release of iTunes 4.9 with podcasting capabilities, we are included in their podcast index. The hard way to find us is to check out the Business category, and look under the Management sub-category for “Venturus”. Of course, if you are more hip than that, just go ahead and use the subscribe link below. If you have any suggestions for the podcast, drop us a line at andru [at] venturus.com.
When thinking about content, oftentimes people concentrate on the textual and visual parts of their website. One thing you must also keep in mind is the method you will use to allow your visitors to find it all. A search box is one of the best pieces of “content” that you can put on your site. It is a simple field that allows a reader to enter a search query, which then uses scripts to check an index of your sites content and displays any matching terms. This puts your visitor in control of their experience, and makes your site interactive. Nowadays, there is no excuse not to include one - just about every website package software includes built-in tools to implement one - and if you don’t like it, you can use the Google search box which is included in Google AdSense as well; it will even earn you money.
I have used Post-It Notes for more than just simple message taking in the past, but this article nails it. One thing about being an Internet business owner is that you can easily be distracted by email, as well as the vast world of the Internet. One thing you can do to keep on task if write out what you want to accomplish each hour/sitting/day and keep it right next to you or on the bezel of your monitor. As you accomplish each task, cross it off and move to the next one. Once the list is all cross out, you are good to go. It really is a viable alternative to software-based task lists.
Between 75% and 98.8% of visitors to Web sites come from searches made at search engines. If you’re going to get high levels of traffic - and hence the levels of ROI you’re looking for - it’s very important that the search engines can access all the information on your Web site.
Do the search engines know about all of your pages?
If you are in the business of publishing or manufacturing computer hardware or software, be sure that you are well read on the US restrictions on the export of some of these products. On the Internet, it is much easier to cater to an international audience, since anyone in the world can find you with the click of a mouse. You may export commercial products that use encryption keys without an export license to “individuals, commercial firms, and other non-government end users in any country except for the seven state supporters of terrorism.” That being said, your product must be evaluated under a one month long technical review process.
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On the heels of Apple releasing iTunes 4.9 with built-in Podcasting support into the wild, Venturus has jumped on the Podcast bandwagon. Expect unique views of Internet business from both established and new companies. This week we sat down with Aaron Levie, Founder of Box.net. Box.net is an online storage company that offers very unique services tailored to their users. We talked with Aaron about the product, what it took to go launch amidst financial issues, and how important customer service is in a Web 2.0 company. Click here to download the MP3, or you can just subscribe to the Venturus Podcast feed, ensuring you will always have our latest show ready and waiting.
Voices: Andru Edwards, Aaron Levie - Founder, Box.net
Length: 31:13, 28.6 MB
Listen | Box.net Interview
Adam Curry gave the closing Keynote, recording Daily Source Code Episode #200 live. He began with talking about Woodstock, now we are almost 25 years later. We have several hundred of the most talented, creative minds in content creation. Flickr and Technorati are overtaken. There are still cameras, video cameras, voice recorders, etc. all throughout the audience. What message should we be sending to the world from Gnomedex? That we want to take back our media.
The interenet is very powerful as both a communications medium as well as a marketing medium. The internet will always be both, not one or the other. We need to bring in our audience. We are not early adopters, we are lunatic fringe. We need fuel from Microsoft, Audible, Apple, and Real. We are telling them what we want. How do we get them to work with us?
Dave Winer and Adam spent 4 years sending large media files to each other after the rss:enclosure tag. In 2004 the magic happened when they switched places - when Adam as a user became a developer, and Dave became the user not the developer. The result was that these programs/shows/audio posts would come down automatically, and they would be so enjoyable because they were amateur.
More after the jump.
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As it turns out, Supreme Court has already cited a blog in a major decision. This should give you an idea of the power you have nowadays as an independent content publisher.
Jason talked about getting a legal letter from posting a Windows Mobile 5 screenshot. His advice was to pick up the phone and call the lawyer directly. He called and was told it is a trade secret, with his response being that he took a shot of a message board. He had no NDA with Microsoft, so the shot shouldn’t need to come down. We are journalists and we write about stuff. If someone walked across the street with a new iPod and someone snapped an image, would that be a trade secret infringement? The lawyer said no, and Jason rests his case. Internet entrepreneurs need to know that they shouldn’t be easily scared by the power that be. A legal letter can be scary, but Jason forces the lawyer to file the papers. Lawyers don’t want to discuss it, they just want you to do what they say. Stick to your guns.
One way to protect yourself is to say how you know something if you don’t know that it is true. For example, you can use words like “claimed” or “allegedly” if you want to report on a rumor. If you make a mistake, update the page. They also made mention of the EFF Legal Guide that we told you about a few weeks ago. Another great tool is Wikipedia’s Fair Use page.
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Mark Fletcher, Scott Rafer, Bob Wyman spoke about the evolution of RSS at Gnomedex. This was a very important panel to be a part of, and I think that if you are in internet business, or if you are thinking of getting into business online, the following is something you should read and evaluate. With Microsoft announcing that RSS is going to be built right in to Longhorn, it is time to pay attention to the medium.
Scott Rafer says that Feedster is placing ads in RSS feeds, and that he is surprised by how little the medium has evolved. Now that RSS is turning into a real business, only large economics can change it, like an urge to create RSS-only publications, and the take-off of RSS on mobile phones. Both will likely create new extensions. Mark Fletcher agrees that there hasn’t been much extensions to RSS. He sees RSS as the universal inbox, pulling in any type of info into an inbox. A way to deal with information overload.
Bob Wyman says he searches the future (PubSub). As they evaluate new documents from feeds and blogs, they are matched against standing, persistent queries. The results are transmitted as rapidly as possible to the users. He also agrees with the comments of the other guys - RSS isn’t just for text anymore. PubSub does airline status, earthquakes, etc. It will be a very important change in the environment. The other trend he believes we will see in RSS is not RSS. The future of RSS is Atom. Its a format that a lot of vendors have interest in. All aggregators read all formats, so there is less and less of a reason for anyone to use the antiquated formats.
One good point, that all readers need to pay attention to, is that web publishers should just choose one RSS format to link to. I whole-heartedly agree with this. Your average visitor has no idea what RSS is, and giving a choice between RSS 0.92, 2.0, and Atom is not offering any type of service. All aggregators nowadays can parse any type of feed, so choose one and run with it.
I asked them about monetizing RSS. Asking users to pay is dreadful says Bob. Dave Winer comments that placing an ad in the feed is like picking up a nickel on the floor, and ignoring the millions flowing by in front of your face. He then mentioned he would subscribe to a Best Buy feed. Jason Calacanis then commented that no one would ever opt-in to advertising, as it is ridiculous. The room then responded in mass disagreement, with a few commenting that they subscribe to Woot!’s RSS feed, which advertises a new product for sale every day.
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